The equipment used by a professional dog walker can have a significant impact on the dogs welfare. This blog post details some of the essential equipment we use to create a safe and fun experience for dogs on our Bristol dog walking adventures.
Transporting dogs in vehicles allows an increased variety of walks and interest for the dogs.
Outdoor Paws follow transport legislation (Welfare of Animals (Transport)(England) Order 2006) and we take safety seriously. For group walks we have a spacious, comfortable van with professionally fitted secure dog crates. They are quiet and don’t rattle and each dog has their own separate space, so the dogs can travel in a calm and safe environment.
We have full ventilation from the drivers cabin to the rear, air conditioning and a roof fan to allow good airflow and keep dogs cool and comfortable.
There are four crates at the back that are suitable for any dog up to a large (GSD size) and a central crate for extra large dogs.
Cleanliness is also important and the van is fitted with easy to clean matts and given a thorough clean using animal safe disinfectant on a regular basis.
For solo walks we either use the dog van or our hatchback car and the dog is secured with a rear seat harness.
Dogs are not left unattended in our vehicle other than for very short periods whilst collecting or dropping off. This period is the absolute minimum amount of time and the vehicle is locked when unattended.
Dog First Aid Kit
We carry a full Pet First Aid Kit in our vehicle and a smaller easy to carry version for when we are out walking. My choice is the Pawly Pet First Aid Kit and it has everything required to provide pre-vet assistance.
Dog Paw Cleaning
We use Aquasorb Towels for muddy paws. They are super absorbent and great for gently cleaning paws. We also have regular towels.
A bucket and portable USB powered hand shower can be useful for cleaning paws and bellies. It is also good for cooling down dogs.
Water is crucial to your dog’s health, they even have taste buds that are tuned for water! A dog’s body weight is mostly water, so losing just 10% of body water means your dog could suffer from severe dehydration.
We always carry a large container of fresh water in our dog van. Dogs drink from non spill dog bowls and collapsible fabric dog bowls, along with dog water bottles for our walks.
Biodegradable poo bags are a must, we always have boxes of them.
Dog leads that are the same length to enable easier walking with a group of dogs. Long line leads for dogs that cannot go off lead.
Dogs must have a tag or collar with the owners and walkers contact details. We have spare tags and collars.
For walks where we have written permission to let dogs off the lead, we have tennis balls. Whether we play ball games very much depends on the dog group dynamics. Mainly we use them as a tool for training.
Lastly, dog treats! We use only positive reward based training and a small treat is great for teaching dogs my recall and implementing any training that is being undertaken by the owner. Feeding of treats will only be given with prior agreement by the owner and we always check for any allergies.
Additional Dog Walking Equipment
My Nikon camera ? to document our adventures. A Garmin watch to GPS track walks and forward the map to the dog owner so they can keep track of their dogs exercise routine.